SEOUL, Feb. 13 (Korea Bizwire) — A nationwide outpouring of support and encouragement is helping South Korean expatriates and Chinese families from Wuhan, China who came to South Korea to escape the coronavirus outbreak.
A total of 170 South Koreans and their Chinese family members who returned to their home country via a chartered plane on Wednesday will be staying at the Joint Forces Military University located in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province for 14 days.
Icheon residents, despite the surprising decision by the government, accepted the evacuees with welcoming spirits.
More than 700 South Koreans who returned earlier last month are currently staying at the Police Human Resources Development Institute in Asan, South Chungcheong Province and the National Human Resources Development Institute in Jincheon County, North Chungcheong Province.
Residents of Asan and Jincheon initially opposed the government’s decision to accommodate the evacuees, but soon decided to welcome them.
Numerous comments of support were posted on various news articles commending the response from local residents.
“I feel terrible that I protested against a waste disposal facility coming to our neighborhood 10 years ago,” said one of the comments.
Citizens throughout the country are sending donations to support the evacuees as well as local residents.
Donations worth 524.8 million won (US$444,000) were sent to Jincheon County. More than 910 million won was sent to Asan.
Local authorities bought thermal imaging cameras, non-contact body infrared thermometers, masks, and sanitizer to send to daycare centers and other vulnerable facilities.
GS Retail Co., a major South Korean retailer, is also spending more than 100 million won to send lunchbox sets and daily necessities to the evacuees, joint support team, and the police.
Boseong County in South Jeolla Province, South Korea’s largest tea producer, spent 24 million won to send green tea to the evacuees in Jincheon and Asan.
“There was a study published by Harvard Medical School that drinking green tea regularly for three months can lower the risk of respiratory disease by 30 percent,” said a Boseong County official.
“We hope that our green tea can help the evacuees during their temporary stay.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)